Talk:National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

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Good article National Popular Vote Interstate Compact has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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March 11, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed
July 17, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
April 5, 2009 Good article reassessment Kept
Current status: Good article

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Graphic error[edit]

The text in the lower-right corner of NPVIC participants.svg reads '06 when it should read '16. (talk) 19:14, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

Ends of 2016 sessions[edit]

Since the legislatures of AK, AZ, GA, and MN have all already adjourned their regular sessions (, I think I'm going to move those bills to the "Past bills" section. I'm not entirely sure if this is how passing bills works, though, so someone correct me if I'm wrong. Blippy1998 (talk) 02:21, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

Compatibility with alternative voting systems[edit]

I undid the insertion of this new section: <<Compatibility with alternative voting methods[edit] The NPVIC assumes that all states use the current choose-one plurality voting (COPV) method. This would be problematic if any states were to implement one of the many alternative voting methods (e.g. Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) or Approval Voting (AV) that are often promoted as solutions to the problem of vote splitting. The results of most voting methods, in particular the ranked voting methods like IRV, are not summable with the results of others. It may be acceptable to sum AV with COPV results, but without counting rules defined in the NPVIC verbiage signatory states could have grounds for protest.[48] On the other hand, it would be equally problematic to implement alternative voting methods without either an interstate compact or a Constitutional change to the rules of the Electoral College: alternative voting methods could lead to more than two candidates receiving electors, while the Electoral College assumes a two-party system, with some candidate receiving a majority.>>

The contributor may want to explain this more, but my initial reactions are: 1) NPVIC assumes vote totals are generated from states, but does not assume plurality voting; 2) approval voting generates vote totals, and instant runoff generates 1st choice totals that are easily summable; 3) the final section about the "Electoral college assuming a two-party system" is not true. RRichie (talk) 19:42, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Rob, you have a strong interest in both IRV and NPV, so you must have thought about this, and should have an article yourself somewhere. 1st-choice totals could of course be "easily summable", but that method would have to be defined and recognized by the NPVIC. I cited an external reference. Why don't you cite an external reference about how IRV would fit into NPV? That would be a worthy contribution. Simply deleting this section is not a contribution. I will grant you 3) that the final section about the "Electoral college assuming a two-party system" was oversimplified, but not false. The Electoral College's decision must be by majority, and there is only one round; if electors represent more than two candidates it becomes likely that there will be no majority, transferring the decision to the House of Representatives. Simplulo (talk) 20:00, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
I agree with the removal. Despite the source provided, there it a lot of synthesis going on in the removed text, which is not appropriate under WP:NOR. If and when issues with other voting methods arise and we can report how they are actually handled, we can discuss them; until then, this is very speculative. As for "Why don't you cite an external reference about how IRV would fit into NPV?", that gets the burden of evidence totally backwards—if you want to introduce new material, you need to provide all the sources necessary to support it; if you don't, there is no obligation to provide sources countering that material in order to remove it, especially as such sources may not exist. —swpbT 13:36, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Describing the compact vote totals[edit]

There's been some back and forth edits on how to describe the national popular vote. What I've witnessed is that vague phrases like "votes nationwide" or "national popular vote" is that readers may interpret that differently. They might think it's just the states in the compact or might think it includes territories of the United States like Puerto Rico that currently do not have votes in the Electoral College. Saying something to the effect of " the most popular votes overall in all 50 states and DC" is designed to answer those questions.RRichie (talk) 10:55, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

While I prefer "nationwide", I understand the possible source of confusion. To avoid an edit war, I'll make sure all relevant sections say "the most popular votes overall in the 50 states and DC" instead of "the most popular votes overall in all 50 states and DC" because I think it further removes confusion. Blippy1998 (talk) 19:44, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

Commented-out bills w/o a floor vote; why include at all?[edit]

Currently, we comment out bills that died without a floor vote, but why keep them at all? They're never going to be made visible to readers, and they don't provide any useful function for editors. Any good reason not to get rid of them? —swpbT 12:48, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

I'm taking six days without dissent on a heavily-watched page as license to proceed. —swpbT 20:08, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Addition of problematic material[edit]

A single-purpose account, Usfairvote, has repeatedly added the following statement to the fourth paragraph of the "legality" section:

Opponent Doug Nickle, President of Make California Count, disagrees. Nickle contends that an interstate compact comprised of the minimum number of electors to win the presidency effectively nullifies the 12th amendment rights of every other state not in the compact. Nickle believes the U.S. Supreme Court will agree.

It is my contention that this text adds nothing of value to the article: the main positions on the constitutionality of the compact are already attributed to more reliable, academic sources; meanwhile, there is no reason given for why this person's opinion matters enough to warrant inclusion. The SPA is apparently willing to war over it, so I'm bringing it here. Opinions? —swpbT 19:22, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

I definitely agree that that text does not belong in the article. The account should probably be warned (if it wasn't already).KarlFrei (talk) 17:31, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

Image is not to date[edit]

Any idea why it hasn't updated to the WikiMedia version? FuzzyCatPotato (talk) 03:15, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

Refresh your cache. Ctrl+F5 in most browsers. —swpbT 13:37, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

partisan advantage[edit]

Today's edits include remarks about the 2000 and 2016 elections, in which some of us who are paying attention know that the winner of the pop vote lost at the electoral college. Given that half the electorate did not vote in 2016 I don't believe this fact is so manifestly obvious that we can just assert it. Unfortunately. So that needs a citation if it is included. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:39, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

It really didn't need a citation, but now it has one. Another editor went to the effort of solving a "problem" that only bothered you. The next time you're the only one with an issue, FIXIT yourself. —swpbT 13:22, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
If you always pick up after your kid, they don't learn to do it themselves.... but on long standing text, I usually opt SOFIXIT. Have a great day, and spread some smiles, eh? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 10:22, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Not sure you fully considered who the kid is in your metaphor. —swpbT 15:55, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Does it matter? Newbies can benefit from experiential education about WP:Verification requirements, and such education will often benefit experts as well. Now, since under the Talk Page Guidelines, we're supposed to talk about improving the article and not each other, can we agree to move on now? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:22, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

Does This Art Rely on Unrel. Sources or No Sources on "States Have Electoral Votes"?[edit]

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I don't find any reference to states having "electoral votes" in the constitution. Please tell me where that is, if it exists. What I find is that states have electors, & the electors vote. Also the legislatures are free to name whatever method they want of choosing electors, but I find no mechanism in the constitution to force the electors to vote some way. Thus it seems to me that all references to states having "electoral votes" as fact, should be eliminated from this article, as based on unreliable sources. It would possibly be a reliable source if it spoke about "votes of electors," or states have so many electors who vote. The states do not vote; electors chosen by legislated means, vote. (PeacePeace (talk) 18:48, 21 November 2016 (UTC))

Please provide a short quote from the article to serve as an example. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 18:52, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
Here is one example: "As of 2016, it has been adopted by ten states and the District of Columbia. Together, they have 165 electoral votes, . . . ." You may do control F or w/ mac command F to find references to "electoral votes." (PeacePeace (talk) 19:09, 21 November 2016 (UTC))
Thanks for the example. While your technical assessment of the legal folderol is interesting, it makes for complicated verbiage and I don't think anyone would come away with a different understand, much less an improved understanding, if we cluttered up the article with more precise verbiage. So I'm opposed to the change because it isn't really an improvement or produce a different take home message. Second, you suggest any source that speaks the same way is (obviously) unreliable, since they disagree with your technical read of things. Oopsie daisie.... simply being wrong in the eyes of any given Wikipedia editor is not what determines reliability of sources for Wikipedia purposes. I've seen many sources that speak of states having electoral votes, rather than states having electors who have a vote. If you think they are wrong, fine, but that doesn't render them "unreliable" under our policy. See WP:Verifiability, not truth. For both reasons I'm not convinced there's a problem. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:32, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you are correct that if you Google, you find a lot of references to states having electoral votes, but they are obviously wrong as a simple reading of the Constitution tells you. (You could call it an urban myth or a hoax.) And the issue of whether STATES have electoral votes (so they could make agreements about them with other states) vs only persons who are electors having electoral votes, is very important. This is not a matter of some individual's eyes or an individual read, but of any rational person who reads the short section in the Constitution, which is a very good standard by which to judge the reliability of the Secondary Sources. The Constitution says nothing about states having electoral votes -- or if it does, let me know where so I am corrected. How do you read the Constitution? Do you find that States have electoral votes? Do these secondary sources actually say that STATES HAVE electoral votes? And if they do, do you agree that the secondary sources are unreliable at that point?
But you know, on reconsideration: I was assuming that the footnote citations actually supported the claims in the text of the article. I just did a check on footnotes 17 & 25. Footnote 17 goes to a site that does not say that states have electoral votes. Footnote 25 goes to a dead URL. So perhaps the writer of this article manufactured the expression "states have electoral votes," and the secondary sources do not support it at all! -- I rechecked this article and find that the claim about states having electoral votes is not supported by any secondary sources at all, so far as I can tell. That being the case (& in view of the conflict with the plain words of the constitution), IMHO such statements should be deleted from this article. (PeacePeace (talk) 02:12, 23 November 2016 (UTC))
When discussing US politics, it is normal to say "State X has N electoral votes" as shorthand for "There are N electors in State X's delegation to the electoral college". —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:32, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

Two As Of templates in a row[edit]

In this diff, an ed has restored their preferred version of a lede paragraph, in which we use Template:As of in two places to refer to the same date. The clear text, with bold added to the AS OF rendered text, reads as follows

As of 2016, it has been adopted by ten states and the District of Columbia. Together, they have 165 electoral votes, which is 30.7% of the total Electoral College and 61.1% of the votes needed to give the compact legal force. Each of the jurisdictions which have adopted the compact as of November 2016 typically vote for Democratic candidates; the compact has not been joined by traditionally Republican or swing states, leading some to believe that ultimate passage is unlikely.

The reason offered in the edit summary is that "(Reverting pointless and harmful change again...";

The prior version was a product of tweaks by at least two other eds, and reduced the AS OF template to just a single instance. That clear text read

As of 2016, it has been adopted by ten states and the District of Columbia, all of which typically vote for Democratic candidates. Together, they have 165 electoral votes, which is 30.7% of the total Electoral College and 61.1% of the votes needed to give the compact legal force. Some commentators have opined that it is unlikely to be passed in enough states to go into effect.
  • We know the reverting editor thinks version 2 is "pointless and harmful", however we don't know the basis for their subjective declaration because they haven't yet defended their assertion.
  • Version 1 (with 2 AS-OFs) = 80 words
  • Version 2 (with only one) = 67 words
  • There is some information in Version 1 that is missing from Version 2, and the missing info is this - in the body of the article one of the commentators specifically opined the compact needs support from at least some "purple or red states" to pass. quote is from the RS cited in the article. Version 2 now just says "not enough states". Other than that, I don't perceive any information contained in Version 1 that is missing from Version 2. Maybe I'm overlooking something. I would favor using Version 2 but adding that bit about GOP/swing states being needed.

IN SUM, Version 2 appears to better fulfill the instruction in Wikipedia:Writing_better_articles#Be_concise and should be restored, maybe with the tweak I just suggested, but even without it, it's still better than clunky as-of Version as-of 1 (redundancy intended)..... UNLESS the reverting ed can win a consensus that those changes are "pointless and harmful". NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:46, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

To your last sentence first: that's not how any of this works. You need a consensus for the change; in the absence of that, the older version stays. Maybe you're new enough not to know that, but now you do. Now:
The original version is better because it presents the salient points in an expected sequence: 1. how many have joined it (both as an absolute number and a percentage); and 2. the nature of the joiners, and it's relevance to the outcome. The altered version presents an awkard, disjointed sequence of the same information: 1. how many have joined, in absolute number only; 2. the nature of the joiners; 3. Back to fact 1, here's what that represents as a percentage; 4. Back to fact 2, here's what the nature of the joiners means. Moving the fact about the 10 states being Democratic before even saying what percentage they comprise is backwards. The party leaning is clearly the secondary fact; it's a "happens to be" fact that modifies the reader's understanding of how to interpret the percentage, and so belongs after the percentage. The desire to jam it in before its place reads to me like POV pushing: "This compact, WHICH WILL FAIL, has been joined by these states, and did we mention IT WILL FAIL?" The editor's shot-down attempt to put a blatantly POV "only" before the ten suggests the same POV. Now, the second {{as of}} is neccessary, because it has a different referrent than the first. The first is the date at which the number "10" was valid, the second is the date at which the statement about Democratic leaning was valid. These will not necessarily remain the same date. On top of all that, the word "opined" is unnecessary and precious, and the original text had no need for it. The new version on offer here isn't wrong, it's just worse writing. —swpbT 21:07, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
RE POV claim.... When there is ambiguity AGF requires giving the benefit of the doubt. "Only" is likely my Upper Midwest colloquial way of talking, and was only intended as a verbal version of a venn diagram: DEM have signed up, GOP/Swing have not......... period. Please AGF, I have already thanked (before your revert) the other ed who deleted that word but also read it the same as youoops, I started a msg at their talk but deleted it when real life interrupted. Just went back to check. Oops. Not so. But figured I should admit the mistake here since there seems to be a penchant for leaping to conclusions in my direction. Honest brainfart. I can understand how one not perceiving ambiguity would leap to the wrong conclusion, but in your words.... now you know. And please focus on content not behavior on the talk pages. Next time you want to ASK if you correctly see POV in my wording please ask at my talk page. I will look at the balance of your reasoning soon, but not at the moment. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:41, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
I hate these WP:RIGHTVERSION things.... the disputed text for which you claim BRD sanctity is itself brand new (less than 10 days old). NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:02, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

Motivation for voters in certain states[edit]

I came here wondering what the motivation in "smaller" states (DC, VT, HI, etc) is for essentially reducing their own resultant power in the election - and thus risking candidates not worrying about representing the interests of said voters in future elections - I am left assuming the voters choose for their state to join the compact "for the sake of pure democracy" or something, but I'm not finding any sources to verify or refute this - I'd be interested if this has been studied somewhere(?) - I'll keep my eye out, but I'm currently still confused :-/ Brettpeirce (talk) 20:41, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

Well, I believe it is relatively straightforward: the voters in these states currently have no power at all, in that nobody cares how they vote, since these states are "safe" (see the section in the article on advertising dollars spent per state). Texas (as a random example) should actually be very interested in joining this compact as well, since at this moment, no presidential candidate has to worry about Texan interests, Texas being a safe state as well. But... KarlFrei (talk) 21:00, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Every statement about "motivation" must pass WP:Verification by citation to what Wikipedia calls a 'reliable source'. Declaring other people's motivation in WP:Wikivoice does not cut it, because statements without references boil down to original research by Wiki editors, and we don't do that. Brett asks a good question about certain states, and if we had refs that report from those states it would be a good addition. Meanwhile, Karl's speculation is interesting, and I enjoyed it, but it's still rather forumish. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:46, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
I do apologize. I have actually been around on Wikipedia for quite a while and I would not dream of putting any of the above in the article itself. I was merely attempting to alleviate Brettpeirce's confusion. Next time, I will be sure to prefix an explanation like the above with a sentence like "this is only my opinion and I have no direct sources for this, but ..." I am terribly sorry if I have misled anybody or wasted anybody's time by making them read my opinion. KarlFrei (talk) 07:19, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
If anyone should apologize, I suppose I should. I didn't mean to slam anyone, it's just hard to know where everyone is at and that's a good policy you've described. Thanks NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 11:57, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

new gallup poll[edit]

Mx. Granger "Except for a few weeks", is WP:CRYSTAL , and makes no sense for a poll which is taken annually. "In 2016" is the only thing we can say for now. Next year we will see if the opinion returns to the prior mean, or if there is a more permanent change. ResultingConstant (talk) 16:15, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

I've added "As of December 2016" to avoid any possible implication of the article trying to predict the future. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:18, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Mx. Granger While better "except for a few weeks" is still problematic. Is the answer going to change a month from now? definitely not, because there will be no poll a month from now. This answer is going to be the answer for until the end of 2017. It also clearly implies that there is going to be a reversion to the mean. We have no idea if there will be so or not.
As of December 2016, Gallup polls dating back to 1944 have shown a consistent majority of the public supporting a direct vote, except a few weeks but/however/until after the 2016 election, when they found support for the popular vote at 49%, an all-time low, with 47% wanting to keep the Electoral College

ResultingConstant (talk) 16:24, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. I think it's important to explicitly mention the contrast between the 2016 results and the other results, because the source focuses so strongly on that contrast. I've tried rephrasing the sentence again, using your suggestion and adding some detail to highlight the contrast. The mention of "a few weeks" is supported by the source, which says "In a poll taken weeks after the election". (I'm about to leave the house, so I won't be able to respond again until several hours from now.) —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:31, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Ah! I see what you are going for. Well, I would say there is a very big difference in meeting between "a few weeks after" and "for a few weeks". One identifies the time the poll was taken, the other gives the duration of the poll's validity. However, I am satisfied with your most recent changes. I agree the contrast is quite important. ResultingConstant (talk) 16:37, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Ah, now I understand the issue—the previous phrasing was indeed (unintentionally) ambiguous in just the way you describe. I'm glad we resolved that. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:45, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Out of date or bogus information[edit]

Current CBS poll indicates a small majority support (54%) for election by popular vote, contrary to the old data and biased poll cited in the article. No reason for this article to be presenting unbalanced or incorrect or old information. See: There should be one conservative and one liberal polling company cited in an article as clearly politically charged as this one in order to maintain and encyclopedic NPOV. — Preceding unsigned comment added by N0w8st8s (talkcontribs) 19:23, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

A gallup poll taken a month or so ago is outdated? ResultingConstant (talk) 19:29, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
"one conservative and one liberal polling company cited" is not how we do things. WP:NPOV requires more thought than such formulas allow. —swpbT 22:23, 20 December 2016 (UTC)


I have no idea if this belongs here, but apparently Florida is on the list of pending bills. Source Callmemirela 🍁 {Talk} 04:50, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

Partisanship of bills[edit]

Due to the recent polarization of this topic between the Democratic and Republican parties, a bill's chance of passage would logically be linked to which party introduces and sponsors it in the legislative chambers. So, awaiting consensus, in order to give readers a better idea of which bills may be likelier to pass, I propose we add to the currently active bills table a section for partisanship of each bill as it appears on If no one objects within a week, I will consider it okay to start adding it myself. Blippy1998 (talk) 03:30, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

That seems very unnecessary. It's as if you're already predicting the bill's outcome. To name the party affiliation is truly unnecessary and is irrelevant to the table. Callmemirela 🍁 {Talk} 03:37, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
What do you mean by it seems I'm already predicting the bill's outcome? If such a section is added to the table, yes, that's effectively what it would serve to do, to an extent. Blippy1998 (talk) 03:48, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
"[...] a bill's chance of passage would logically be linked to which party introduces [...]." Again, mentioning the party affiliation is really irrelevant to the status of the bill. Callmemirela 🍁 {Talk} 03:53, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
It's irrelevant to the current status, but it may be relevant to the future status. If you think information about the possible future status is outside the scope of the table, I won't add the section. Blippy1998 (talk) 06:09, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it would be a bad idea if the chart were to show which party proposed the bill, actually it would probably be more beneficial that way. Also, some of the EV values of some states aren't correct such as Indiana's which should be 11 but in the chart it says 16. -- sion8 Flag of Barranquilla.svg talk page 07:25, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, okay. I think so too, by the way (obviously). We should probably hold off on doing it until we get more opinions. I'm not sure if this'll alert them, but I'll tag User:Callmemirela. Blippy1998 (talk) 07:35, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Here, this should work. @Callmemirela: I'll also tag @Prcc27:, @Swpb:, and @Transportcatch:. Blippy1998 (talk) 09:44, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
I think it would be appropriate to include the sponsor's name, district id, and party affiliation, but I don't think that will say much about the likelihood of success. I'd say that the partisan control of the chamber is much more likely than the party of the sponsor to indicate whether the bill will pass, but even then, that may not say enough; Oregon's state senate president is a Democrat and he has blocked NPVC bills with majority support for over a decade. If the interest is in showing which bills might pass, I think it would be better to find an external source that estimates likelihood of passage for bills based on all relevant factors (akin to, say, rankings of which House / Senate elections a likely to be competitive), then this table could reference that. Transportcatch (talk) 16:57, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't think the sponsor's name, district id, or party affiliation would add to a holistic understanding of a bill's status; it would just clutter the table. That level of detail is available in the sources for anyone interested; it's too trivial for most readers. —swpbT 16:28, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't think this is a good idea. A bill's prospects are based on a more complicated set of factors than sponsor partisanship; a reasonable assessment would need to consider at least the (potentially mixed) partisan makeup of the sponsors, the partisan makeup of the committee(s) and the legislative chamber, the rules and practices of the legislative chamber, and the partisan makeup of the state's voting populace currently and historically. To weigh these factors appropriately would entail original research; to present them without comment would suggest an implicit weighting, or beg the question of why they are being presented at all. —swpbT 14:04, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I don't think I'll add it then. Blippy1998 (talk) 09:40, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Keep bills that failed in committee until the end of current session?[edit]

It seems that the current practice is to remove bills from "Currently Active Bills" if the bill failed in committee. I think it would be valuable to keep them until the end of the current session, so that readers have a complete picture of the status of the compact in the states - live in 17 states, dead in 3 (VA, MT, CO). I recommend changing the title of the section from "Currently Active Bills" to "Bills in Current Session" and highlighting the failed bills in red. Transportcatch (talk) 13:52, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

I think that's fair, with the caveat that if a new bill is introduced in the same session, it supplants the dead one. —swpbT 15:06, 17 February 2017 (UTC)